7-Day Holiday Meal Plan For Kids
This free meal plan is kindly sponsored by Ford Everest. Our family car of choice, designed to tackle tough terrain and unexpected obstacles, the 2019 Everest is rough and ready. Discover what lies beyond the road’s end.
Many families go away for a week or two over the summer holidays, and it’s a great time to relax, throw away the daily grind and spend quality together. But with young children, who still need to eat regularly, comes the stresses of firstly – the car trip there, and secondly – a different kitchen without the basic luxuries found at home. And while you want to enjoy the convenience of take away and ice-creams there comes a point where it gets expensive and the kids get a little unsettled. To find the balance we find a mix between the two, and that usually means eating on the go during the day and cooking a nutritious simple dinner for them in the early evenings.
CAR TRIP SURVIVAL GUIDE
We have travelled many hundreds of kilometres with three kids in the back and we understand the challenges many families face! First and foremost, make sure your seats are professionally fitted. I use Pearce’s Child Restraints to fit our seats and they were impressed with the Ford Everest having two car seat harnesses in the optional third row (Trend and Titanium only). We fit our three kids seats across the middle leaving the boot space for all of our luggage. The Ford Everest is a pleasure to drive on the open road, the kids are so comfortable and we have the option of going off road and having some fun 4WD adventures once we arrive!
Here are the most common questions we are asked about travelling with kids:
What time to leave? Our preference (kids are 8, 5, 3) is to leave just before their regular bedtime. A trip down south for us is 4-5 hours plus a few stops. So, a 7-hour trip during the day can be a 4-hour trip in the evening as we don’t need to stop. We get the kids into their PJ’s and pop them into the car around 6pm. An hour of excitement chatter and then as it gets dark they are usually rocked into a deep sleep for the remainder of the trip. Plus, we aren’t driving super late when we are usually asleep so it isn’t an issue of being fatigued.
What about snacks? Eating on the go is not ideal, but it is sometimes necessary. Sometimes you just need to hold them out a little longer and the no-eating-in-the-car rule goes out the window! I like to pack a little Yumbox of simple, safe foods for each child – plus a cold bottle of water. A packet of lollies is also always by my side, just in case the mood changes and we all need a pep up! The leather seats in the Ford Everest makes cleaning up after spills very easy.
Screen time YAY or NAY? We load up the iPad with all their favourites before we leave and keep this for emergencies. We find that only using the iPad for the last hour keeps a trick up our sleeve to use as negotiation. We also use the Apple Car Play in the Ford Everest to stream their favourite audiobooks and songs from.
TOP TIPS FOR HAPPY HOLIDAY MEALTIMES
Hooray – you’ve arrived! This meal plan is purely for family holidays, away from the comforts of home using simple cooking methods (stovetop only) and limiting ingredients to create the most frugal, waste-free meals. You deserve a holiday too, so save time and stress by meal planning a little before you leave. By the end of the holiday you want an empty fridge, content and happy kids and some amazing memories.
- Bring your own pantry staples. Grab your snap lock bags or Tupperware and fill them with whatever staples you might already have at home. Then cross these off the shopping list. There’s no point buying a big bag of pasta, olive oil or flour when you only need a cup that you already have at home. You can save hundreds of dollars by doing this.
- Home delivery for the win! For the supplies you do need we love to organise a big home delivered shop to arrive at the holiday house the same time we do. Obviously not for the campers or rural holidays but for the coastal houses this is a great option. Have all the food you need from the moment you arrive meaning more time to just relax right from the start. Daily top up shops can really add up and it’s mentally draining trying to think about dinner after a big day at the beach.
- Choose meals that keep on giving. Meals that can be repurposed the next day, are great! Either for lunch or as another dinner. For example, Bolognese meat can be pasta, pastry triangles, toasties, bread pies, nachos and muffins.
- Feed your kids tasting plate style. When you aren’t eating all together banquet style, try the tasting plate. A simple main meal component, matched with some chopped vegetable sicks and a few slices of fruit is the perfect dinner. You do not need to create fancy food on holidays and chances are the kids will be so tired they won’t eat much anyway.
- Get aquatinted to what we like to call ‘Brinner’. Breakfast for dinner is commonplace on our holidays. When young kids are happy-exhausted they simply don’t have the energy for a big dinner. A big bowl of oats, some Weetbix, scrambled eggs or a cheese toastie matched with a simple fruit platter. Absolutely perfect! If it means Mum or Dad can put their feet up and relax a little earlier then even better.
These bonus recipes are perfect to make before you leave and freeze, or if you get a chance during a day nap on holidays they will keep on giving – versatile for breakfast, lunch or snacks which will save you time and money.
7-DAY HOLIDAY MEAL PLAN DOWNLOAD
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